On the 12th Anniversary of 9-11-01
By Ken K. Gourdin
Shortly after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, I submitted the following letter, which was published in The Utah Daily Chronicle, the University of Utah’s student newspaper:
I continue to believe the sentiment expressed in that letter’s final sentence, that “Evil may triumph in a few of its battles with the good, but good will eventually win in the end.”
Shortly after United States Special Forces killed Osama bin Laden in retaliation for the barbaric acts of 9/11, which he masterminded and financed, I submitted the following op-ed (which The Salt Lake Tribune declined to publish):
As I note in the above-linked piece, I would be the last to argue that Osama bin Laden’s demise is a bad thing. But, while killing terrorists is easy, eradicating terrorism, by contrast, is much more difficult. This assertion was borne out by the attack of September 11, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya, which killed then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other embassy employees. For commentary regarding that attack and the U.S. response to it, see the following:
I’m not holding my breath for President Obama to obtain justice for those who died on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. As much as I’d like to think that the lessons of September 11, 2001 were indelibly imprinted on our national psyche, would inspire perpetual vigilance against such a horrible event ever happening again, and would guide U.S. national policy thenceforth, sadly, I have my doubts. Our fading national consciousness may well open the way for a similar event in the future on U.S. soil.
Update: September 12, 2013 — For a counterpoint, see the editorial which first appeared in The Chicago Tribune and was reprinted in The Salt Lake Tribune September 11, 2013 (last accessed September 12, 2013) at the following address: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/56857181-82/american-americans-anniversary-attack.html.csp. I want to believe the editorial’s assurance that we will be able to defend against a similar attack or attacks in the future on American soil without incurring large-scale loss of life despite the fact that the events of 9/11/01 are fading from our national consciousness. Even though I’m not a pessimist at heart, however, I do have my doubts. I wonder how much of President Obama’s election victory can be attributed to his implicit assurances to the electorate that (essentially) [President Bush’s] “War on Terror” ended when President Obama’s order that Osama bin Laden be killed was carried out (notwithstanding the events of September 11, 2012, for which President Obama and his administration likely will escape responsibility).